Infinitely More

The following remarks are from my talk “Infinitely More” given at the Relief Society Stake Birthday Celebration in Carlsbad, California (March 12, 2015) based on the quote/talk from Elder Holland, “We are infinitely more than our limitations and afflictions.” (Like a Broken VesselElder Jeffrey R. Holland). 

Last month, I had the privilege of listening to apostle Russell M. Nelson speak at the Escondido Stake Conference.  At one point, he asked all of the children to stand and sing “I am a child of God.”  The room was completely silent – no distractions, no competing noises – nothing except the sweet voices bearing testimony of who they were, why they were here, and where they are going.

I am a child of God

Rich Blessings are in store

If I but learn to do His will

I’ll live with Him once more

Lead Me, Guide Me, Walk Beside Me

Help Me Find the Way

Teach Me All That I must Do

To Live With Him some day.


“I am a child of God”

President Uchtdorf underscored just how important this truth is as he taught, “Much of the confusion in life comes from not understanding who we are…” (“Our True Identity“)

There’s an old, well-known story of a chicken farmer who found an eagle’s egg.  He put it with his chickens and soon the egg hatched.  The young eagle grew up with all the other chickens and whatever they did, the eagle did too.  He thought he was a chicken, just like them.

Since the chickens could only fly for a short distance, the eagle also learned to fly a short distance.  He thought that was what he was supposed to do. So that was all that he thought he could do.  As a consequence, that was all he was able to do.

One day the eagle saw a bird flying high above him. He was very impressed. “Who is that?” he asked the hens around him.

“That’s the eagle, the king of the birds,” the hens told him. “He belongs to the sky. We belong to the earth, we are just chickens.”

So the eagle lived and died as a chicken, for that’s what he thought he was.

Satan would have us believe we are “just chickens” (sort of speak) –confined to earth with our limited abilities and resources – as opposed to who we really are – children of God -heavenly beings destined for eternal glory. Satan knows if we truly comprehended the majesty of who we really are – and who we were before we came to earth – we would soar above any temptations and distractions he placed in our path.

Consequently, as Sheri Dew states, “He offers an array of seductive but sorry substitutes —everything from labels and logos —titles and status —hoping to preoccupy us with the world’s artificial identifiers.”  (“No Doubt About It”)

His efforts can cause us to feel inadequate, discouraged and defeated rather than confident, hopeful and happy.

Sheri Dew continues:  “The world’s mirror is like a circus mirror in which a five foot, ten inch woman appears two feet tall, distorted and minimized. Satan wants us to believe there is no status or significance in being a mother.  He wants us to believe that the influence of women is inherently inferior. And that is a lie. That is an evil lie.”   (“No Doubt About It”)

This mortal identity crisis confuses us into obsessing over what we think will define us and bring us happiness; filling us with insatiable desires while distracting us from the real cure –  remembering our TRUE, ETERNAL identity.

We ARE children of God, we are daughters of our Heavenly Father – who loves us and we love him.  We are infinitely more than the perfect body, designer clothes, the perfect hair, house, or party- NONE OF THIS IS ETERNAL.  Only our love, faith, character and service are.

We are all His literal spirit daughters with infinite worth and glorious potential.


 “Rich Blessings are in store”

In daily life and when life gets hard, I like to remember that this life is a preparatory test.  And as is the case in all tests – they END!  At the conclusion of our mortal test, God will reward the faithful in a perfect way.  For me, this eternal perspective makes even the most excruciating trials endurable.

At age 16, I was prepared to die due to cystic fibrosis. I had been true and faithful to the promises I had made to God. I knew my Savior and I knew my Heavenly Father. I knew their will was perfect. More importantly, I knew death was simply the conclusion of this mortal test and incomprehensible rich blessings were in store as I said then, “It’s a whole lot better on the other side anyway.”

For as one of my favorite scriptures reads of our return to heaven:  “… God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.”  Revelations 21:4

I had such faith then and still do today in the promise of those rich blessings that I was OK with dying and only wanted to live to spare my family any more pain.

Keeping an eternal perspective can only be done by praying, studying the scriptures and attending the temple.

I love the quote by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland as he encourages. “Don’t you quit. You keep walking, you keep trying; there is help and happiness ahead. Some blessings come soon. Some come late. Some don’t come until heaven. But for those who embrace the gospel of Jesus Christ they come. It will be alright in the end. Trust God and believe in Good Things to Come.” (“An High Priest of Good Things To Come”)

And in Doctrine and Covenants 58:4  we read, “For after much tribulation come the blessings. Wherefore the day cometh that ye shall be crowned with much glory; the hour is not yet, but is nigh at hand.”

As we focus on keeping an eternal perspective I know we will blessed with infinitely more peace, hope and fortitude to stay on the path to our Father in Heaven and all of the rich blessings in store.


“If I but learn to do His will, I’ll live with Him once more”

This life’s purpose is infinitely more than to eat, drink and be merry.  As Amulek taught, this time is the time to prepare to meet God. (Alma 34:32)

God has blessed us with commandments so that we can be happy and free from Satan’s ensnaring traps and so we can return to our heavenly home.  Whether we choose the path of happiness or not is entirely our choice.

As President Uchtdorf so eloquently expressed: “…Many of our deepest regrets of tomorrow can be resolved by following the Savior today.” (Of Regrets and Resolutions)

As we choose to follow the Savior, we can be blessed with peace through obedience, which in turn gives us confidence and courage to face life’s challenges.

When I was waiting for my kidney transplant a year and a half ago, I had no idea if my family members or friends would be a compatible kidney match, if I would have to be on dialysis for years, how long I would stay feeling that crummy, if my transplanted lungs would go into rejection, and on and on.  There were and always are a million things we can’t predict or control.

But then as in now with all my health hiccups, I am filled with perfect peace because I know I am doing all I can and the rest is in God’s omnipotent, loving hands.  Peace come what may. This is one of the greatest gifts in my life.

In the times of heartache, even while following the Savior, we must strive to have faith in His will, faith in his timing and faith in his way of doing things – always remembering that everything will be made permanently right through Christ here or in the hereafter.

Our Father in Heaven knows what we need for our eternal progression despite our pleas for what we want at this mortal instant.  He is making of us something infinitely more than we would choose to make of ourselves – and it will be infinitely worth it.

C.S. Lewis has described it this way: “Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on: you knew those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently he starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of—throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were going to be made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace” (C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity,New York: MacMillan Co., 1960, p. 160).

Elder Orson F. Whitney wrote: “No pain that we suffer, no trial that we experience is wasted.  It ministers to our education, to the development of such qualities as patience, faith, fortitude, and humility… It is through sorrow and suffering, toil and tribulation that we gain the education that we come here to acquire.”  (Learning Through Life’s Trials) 

By striving to accept and do his will we will become more like Christ and be blessed with infinitely more peace and happiness come what may.

For God has promised, “[H]e who doeth the works of righteousness shall receive his reward, even peace in this world, and eternal life in the world to come.” (Doctrine and Covenants 59:23)



Sometimes when my dad travels, he’ll rent a car that has a satellite guidance system called “Never Lost” to help him find his way in a new location. (a big deal before our smart phones.)  A voice would come over the speaker and guide him to his destination. It never yelled at him for missing a turn. Rather, it would advise: “Recalculating route. When possible, make a U-turn.”

Through the guidance of the Holy Ghost and light of Christ, each one of us has our very own “Never Lost” to help us find our way back to our heavenly home.  I am so grateful for the gift of the Holy Ghost so I need never be lost.  As I look back on my life, I am humbled and grateful equally to see the Lord’s hand in my life in the big life-saving miracles as well as the small every day decisions that have placed me on the path I am on today.

There truly are no insignificant promptings as they come from the Lord and all provide guidance to the best, most direct route back home.

And in the moments when answers aren’t immediately forthcoming, we must do as Elder Holland advised, “hold fast to what you already know and stand strong until additional knowledge comes.” (Lord, I Believe)

I know that nothing will more completely transform our mortal experience than having the spirit as our constant companion.  As we listen to the voice of the Lord instead of the voice of the world, we will be blessed with infinitely more strength, wisdom, direction, peace and optimism beyond our own natural abilities.

Elder Bruce R. McConkie said, “There is no price too high, no sacrifice too great, if, out of it all, we enjoy the gift of the Holy Ghost. What are we willing to do, what weaknesses and indulgences will we give up, to have as our personal protector and guide the constant companionship of God’s spirit?” (We Are Not Alone)

In addition to the companionship of the holy Ghost, we have the Savior to walk beside us every step back towards our Heavenly Home.

For “He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength …they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings as eagles.” (Isaiah 40:29,31)

If we come unto Christ and let Him ease our agonizing and grieving, I know we will be encircled in the arms of His as love as he leads us, guides and walks beside us. I have come to know this for a surety.  Christ’s strengthening and enabling power is stronger than any of our heaviest burdens. I could not have made it through my challenges without Him; and now I feel I can make it through anything because of Him.



This particular phrase in the song was originally, “teach me all that I must KNOW,” until then apostle Spencer W. Kimball, requested that the phrase be changed to “Teach me all that I must DO.”  It is not enough to know what is right- we need to DO it!

So what is it that we are to DO?

In addition to following the commandments, we must strive to follow Christ’s example of loving and serving others unconditionally; from the leper to the sinner, from the blind to the believer.

Christ never withheld his love for ANY reason.  When the women was taken in adultery and brought before the Lord – Jesus did not ask if it was true, or about the details, the circumstances, or the gossip. He simply stated, “If any of ye are without sin, let him cast the first stone.”

We each pass sons and daughters of God every day – and in this very room – whose hearts are on the brink of breaking, who are literally and metaphorically an hungered, naked, and homeless. Let us not be too judgmental, insecure, prideful or preoccupied that we miss daily opportunities to love others and in turn miss daily opportunities to emulate and to serve our Lord, Jesus Christ. For as he said, “…Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” (Matthew 25:40)

As we love others, we can do infinitely more good than we can imagine and our own burdens will be made lighter.

There was a family trying to leave from behind the iron curtain during communist rule when no one was allowed to leave the country.  Trying to escape could get you shot by the border guards. The elderly grandfather of the family was too old to make the hike over the mountain pass and begged to be left behind but his son and family insisted, “We all go or no one goes.”

During the hike the grandfather said he could not continue and that the soldiers would not care about an old man but his son said it would be the death of him and he would not leave him and besides “it is your turn to carry the baby.”  His father replied, “oh of course, I just needed to rest, please hand me the child.”

He could not do it for himself but he could do infinitely more than he thought possible when he was doing it for someone else.

As we serve others, we unlock the key to true happiness.  As David O. McKay said, “True happiness comes only from making others happy – of losing oneself to gain it.” (The Best Christmas Ever)

I am a child of God

Rich Blessings are in store

If I but learn to do His will

I’ll live with Him once more

Lead Me, Guide Me, Walk Beside Me

Help Me Find the Way

Teach Me All That I must Do

To Live with Him Someday

As eternal beings whose existence has no end, we can live someday with our Father in Heaven and our Savior, Jesus Christ, in eternal glory – filled with infinitely more peace, love and joy than we ever thought possible.

It is my prayer than we can always remember we are of infinite worth and have infinitely more to look forward to in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

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